Forgetfulness And Memory Loss: When To Start Worrying?

Forgetting and memory loss: when to start worrying?

Forgetting certain things is quite normal and can happen to anyone, but the older we get, the more frequent it can become.

Sometimes, in addition to forgetting itself and its more or less important repercussions on our life, it happens that the causes of these forgetfulness concern us.

Forgetting, as common as it is frequent, is both a sign that our memory is functioning well, and an element of worry, because we may think that we are developing a mental illness like Alzheimer’s.

In this article, we will analyze the difference between normal, everyday forgetfulness (which is not a symptom of any serious illness), and memory loss that appears in the early stages of some mental illnesses.

Why am I losing my memory?

Forgetting is usually the result of everyday life, as our memory is constantly working while getting used to the routine that dominates our lives.

When our routine changes, new events take over, and our brain relegates older elements to the background.

Shopping is a good example. Indeed, if we change our list and buy new products, the ones we bought before are driven from our short term memory.

This is how we sometimes forget ingredients that were and still are essential.

Not remembering a face, a name, or what we wanted to buy falls into the category of common forgetfulness, but if we completely forget to go shopping, then we can speak of memory loss …

Memory loss is linked to different factors, such as:

– Acute stress

– The Depression

– Menopause

– Head trauma

– Drug or alcohol abuse

– Diseases like hypertension

– High cholesterol

– Certain hepatic disorders

– Thyroid disorders

When should I start to worry?

In the rest of this article, we will explain in detail the symptoms that may cause concern: 

• Not being able to solve certain problems or make certain decisions as before.

• Being confused about when and where is when our brain uses our long term memory and past situations instead of using our short term memory.
This is the classic example of a long-retired person who suddenly begins to dress in the morning to go to work.

• Sudden changes in temperament and personality.

• No longer remembering the places we have just visited or the actions we have just carried out, especially if these actions required a good dose of attention.

It is normal for performing automated processes, such as driving, to create memory gaps as we perform these actions, as the cognitive part of our brain is working on other things.

• Presenting problems with new words whether in writing or reading.

• Having difficulty performing certain tasks with which we were very comfortable.

• Getting lost or feeling confused when we take a usual route or when we go through paths that we take daily.

Short term memory

As you may have deduced, short-term memory is the key to distinguishing between forgetfulness, memory loss, and degenerative cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s. 

If you notice that your brain is repeatedly using your long-term memory to analyze recent information rather than using short-term memory and the logical reference that comes from it, you should definitely see your doctor.

If you forgot to buy milk this morning, just try to  get more physical exercise to keep your brain oxygenated (at least 30 minutes a day), and some activity that stimulates your brain such as reading, playing games. chess, solve crosswords, or do mental calculations.

But do not forget that it is very important to reduce the stress present in your everyday life. All of these keys will help you maintain good brain activity and a “fresh” memory.

What to do?

In summary, some oversights can be categorized as “normal” (for example, where did I leave my keys or this document?) And have their origin in the rush, hectic life and preoccupations that surround him. accompany, distractions and fatigue.

 This type of forgetfulness, in general, is nothing serious. So you have nothing to worry about.

On the contrary, there are situations which we must be aware of and which should not be taken lightly.

If we start to notice that we can’t remember what we ate the night before, the name of the book we just read, or if we have completely forgotten about an important date that has been scheduled for a long time, it is time to go see a doctor.

Memory loss does not necessarily mean that we are developing Alzheimer’s disease or another degenerative disease.

However, if we observe this type of symptoms both in ourselves and in a member of our family, it is best to consult a specialist.

The latter will determine whether we are suffering from a degenerative process at a primary stage, or whether it is simply memory loss that we can cure with the right treatment.

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